Updated Mar 18, 2020 - Health

First Congress members test positive for coronavirus

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., speaks about Cuba during the House Republicans weekly news conference on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart speaks during a news conference in February. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Ben McAdams (D-Utah) tweeted Wednesday night that he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus — hours after Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) announced his results came back positive.

Why it matters: Diaz-Balart and McAdams are the first members of Congress to announce that they have tested positive for the virus, which has infected more than 9,400 people in the U.S. as of early Thursday.

The big picture: Several Congress members said this month they had placed themselves in isolation for 14 days after coming into contact with someone at CPAC 2020 who tested positive for the virus.

  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Reps. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said they were doing so as a precaution despite showing no symptoms.
  • Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) said in a statement on Tuesday last week that he would self-quarantine following "a positive test for COVID-19 by a friend in Washington, D.C., with whom he recently interacted" despite showing no symptoms.
  • Last Wednesday, it was confirmed that a Washington, D.C., staffer of Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) had tested positive for COVID-19.

Go deeper: Lawmakers self-quarantine after contact with confirmed coronavirus cases

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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